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Concern over plight of postgraduate students

By Our Staff Reporter



Members of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad staging a protest in front of the CET Cell in Bangalore on Thursday. — Photo: K. Gopinathan.

BANGALORE, APRIL 29. Various youth organisations in Bangalore city have expressed concern over the fate of students who want to pursue postgraduate medical and dental courses, following a High Court of Karnataka order on the issue of increase in fees for these courses.

The High Court has said that it will not interfere in the matter. For now, the students will have to pay Rs. 2 lakhs per annum for medical courses and Rs. 1.5 lakhs per annum for dental courses, which has been tentatively fixed by the Murgod Fee Committee.

Junior doctors had filed a petition in the High Court seeking restoration of last year's fee structure for postgraduate medical and dental courses.

Ravi Kumar, Organising Secretary of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's State unit, said the organisation planned to challenge this order in court. The Murgod Fee Committee should consult students and their parents before fixing the fee structure. "The Murgod Committee is on the side of the college managements and is not bothered about the fate of students," he said.

The Students Federation of India (SFI) proposed to bring together the parents and candidates at the Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell on Friday and take a decision on what to do next.

K.S. Laxmi, President of the federation's State unit, said, "The Murgod Committee should consider the socio-economic conditions of the course aspirants before fixing the fees and protect the interests of poor students."

The All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) has asked its members in the medical fraternity to hold agitations across the State and to submit memorandums to Government representatives, demanding restoration of last year's fee structure.

Sriram, President of the organisation's State unit, said the Government should give grants to students who could not pay the entire fee amount.

"Legislation should be passed so that admission to professional courses is given on the basis of merit and the fees are within the reach of the common people," he said.

Earlier, the Vidyarthi Parishad staged a demonstration outside the CET Cell demanding that the increase in fees be withdrawn.

Representatives of the Vidyarthi Parishad criticised the Government and the Murgod Fee Committee for putting the candidates and their parents to hardship.

"The increase in fees from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs per annum for medical courses and to Rs. 1.5 lakhs per annum for dental courses has left all the junior doctors helpless. Fees have been increased because of pressure from private institutions and it will shatter the dreams of meritorious poor students," a representative of the Vidyarthi Parishad said.

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